If you’re riding in very cold conditions, or feel the cold more so than others, then the Icebreaker Oasis baselayer provides a lot of warmth and is a quality built garment. But you’ll need to accept that you’ll smell like a sheep once you work up a sweat.
Good if you feel the cold
A bit too warm for harder efforts during much of the winter in the south of the UK
Smells of sheep
Icebreaker is a leader in the use of merino wool for activewear. Its range now extends to a full range of wool-containing garments, but it’s still best known for its baselayers, of which the Icebreaker Oasis long sleeve is a good example.
The Icebreaker Oasis long sleeve crewe is made of 100% merino wool. It has a weight of 200, which Icebreaker classifies as lightweight. For most cycling-specific baselayers, this would be classified as medium weight.
This is reflected in the level of warmth provided; the Icebreaker Oasis long sleeve is comfortable down to around 0C. On warmer days, you can quickly work up a sweat. Under a winter weight jacket, I would usually find that the back of the baselayer was quite damp.
The insulation properties of merino mean that this did not affect the level of warmth provides, however. And the natural odour resistance meant that I did not end up smelling sweaty.
But the Icebreaker Oasis long sleeve baselayer still has a tendency to smell once wet – of sheep! This didn’t go away even after multiple washes. Of course, you don’t notice it when out riding, but leave your baselayer in a wet heap and it’s pretty obvious. You may not find it offensive, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning to use the Icebreaker Oasis long sleeve baselayer for more intense efforts.
Otherwise, the Icebreaker Oasis long sleeve baselayer is a quality garment. The fit is good, without being too close and all the seams are flatlocked, so they are not noticeable under a tighter-fitting cycling jacket. There’s a seam across the upper back and darts under the armpits, to help ensure a close fit. Arm and torso length is good for riding too.
So the Icebreaker Oasis long sleeve baselayer is a good option for colder rides, providing you can live with the sheepy smell once you get back.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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